Pistachio biscotti with kirsch-soaked dried cherries

Biscotti with salted pistachios and kirsch-soaked dried cherries

Bake dozens to give to family and friends

This biscotti recipe has been in my repertoire for years… so many years, in fact, that I can’t even remember when I came up with it. And, though I have countless versions of this recipe, this one is my husband’s favorite. So I end up making it more often than any of the others.

When it comes to the holidays, I often bake many batches to give to family and friends – a labor of love for sure, but I think that efforts from our kitchens always make the best gifts.

Snappy but not rock-hard – you won’t break your teeth on these biscotti!

The one thing I must mention, though, is that you’re not likely to break your teeth on one of these biscotti. They’re snappy for sure, but not rock-hard! I like my biscotti to be dry but delicate, and so the recipe has evolved to give me these exact results. A very dear friend, who now lives near Venice, calls them “biscotti for the elderly!” It’s a name that has stuck in my mind, and which he didn’t mean as an insult… quite the contrary. It just means that nibbling on them is that much more pleasurable.

So enjoy these super-tasty morsels. May they find their way into your holiday gift baskets.

Salted pistachios

Food & wine pairing: Tuscany, Vin Santo with cherry-pistachio biscotti

Dessert-sherry wine icon
Can one ever think of having biscotti without a glass of Vin Santo from Tuscany? I can’t think of a better way to enjoy these delicious treats!

Pistachio biscotti with kirsch-soaked dried cherries

makes 10 dozen bite-sized biscotti
active time: 50 min

  1. 1 cup dried cherries
  2. 1/3 cup kirsch or grappa
  3. 12 tablespoons unsalted butter – at room temperature
  4. 1 cup organic sugar
  5. 3 extra large eggs – at room temperature
  6. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  7. 3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  8. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  9. large pinch sea salt
  10. 1 cup shelled salted pistachios
  1. extra flour to roll the dough
  2. 2 large jelly roll pans (14″ x 17″) – lined with Silpat or parchment paper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF (180 °C).
  2. Step 1: Place the cherries and kirsch in a small bowl and add boiling water to just cover the cherries. Let stand for 15 minutes. Place the soft butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip at slow speed until fluffy and pale. Add the eggs one at a time and continue whipping at slow speed until the mixture is smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and whip at medium speed for another minute until thick and ribbony. Set aside. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and whisk with a wire whisk until well blended. Add to the egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. Drain the cherries and add them to the dough, along with the pistachios. Stir until the dough comes together.
  3. Step 2: Turn the dough over a generously floured work surface and divide into 5 even pieces. Roll each piece into a long, skinny log (1 1/4″ in diameter and 16″ long). Place the logs 2″ apart on the prepared pan. Bake the logs until they’ve risen and are golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 250 ºF (130 ºC).
  5. Step 3: Using a serrated knife, slice the logs crosswise to make 3/4″-thick biscotti. Lay the slices on the prepared pans (you’ll need to use both pans) and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the slices over and return to the oven, making sure to switch the position of your pans in the oven, and bake for an additional 20 minutes until the slices are dry and pale golden. Cool on racks and store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

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Biscotti with salted pistachios and kirsch-soaked dried cherries

Viviane’s tip
  1. This recipe makes bite-sized biscotti, which I find much more refined than the giant ones we’re used to seeing in most bakeries. However, if you wish to make larger biscotti, shape the dough into 3 larger logs (2″ thick and 14″ long) and extend the baking time to 35 to 40 minutes for the logs and 25 minutes on each side for the biscotti. This will yield 5 dozen medium-sized biscotti.

Biscotti with salted pistachios and kirsch-soaked dried cherries

biscotti, pistachios, cherries


  1. Sounds like it worth trying, i like it so much. I`m sure it`s tasty, great idea for dessert bread!

  2. Perfect recipe for my husband who likes to make biscotti and loves pistachios. Now, how about a recipe for the pumpkin gelato to go with them? All your gelatos are so good!

    • Viviane Bauquet Farre

      Thank you so much, Kay! I promise that in 2018 lots of new recipes will appear on my site. (I’ve had to take a sabbatical this year.) And I’ll have to add pumpkin gelato to the list. Here’s wishing you and yours a fabulous holiday season!

  3. Red cherries and green pistachios…what a perfect combo for the holiday cookie tray!


    These are perfect; was making pistachio and dried cherries tomorrow.
    Love soaking the cherries in kirsch. Have not used the kirsch very often.
    We usually used oil instead of butter. I will make a batch with butter.
    Anise is my must have for the holidays, but I have been making other versions through the years.
    Of course, must make pizelle.
    Much love to you and Marc.

    • Viviane Bauquet Farre

      Loretta, thank you for your note and for the love! I can picture you making mountains of goodies for the holidays! Much love to you and Peter too..

  5. Pingback: Salted Marcona almond and black sesame brittle with coriander — food & style

  6. Hi Viviane, I absolutely love biscotti and the crumb in yours looks so perfect. You are inspiring me to bake some cookies…I am so behind this season. Happy Holidays. Shulie

  7. I can understand why the festive red and green studded biscotti are a favorite! Bursting with seasonal flavors and ready for dunking in the nearest cup of coffee!

    • Deb! It’s so funny that you mention “red and green”… I never even made the connection in my mind about the colors of the season! I just decided to publish this recipe because it is my husband’s favorite – Ah!

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